MIEPI spearheads key student survey

The multi-agency team that is conducting surveys of all high school students in the Marshall Islands to determine underlying health problems and potential risk factors among local teenagers. Photo: Marshall Islands Epidemiology and Prevention Initiatives.

HILARY HOSIA

Marshall Islands Epidemiology and Prevention Initiatives (MIEPI) have been spearheading the Rapid High School Survey to determine the percentage of students who have risk factors for development of diseases like diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, heart attacks and strokes.

The ongoing survey, which started in January this year, is a short questionnaire designed to indicate current use of tobacco and alcohol in the 17 high schools on Majuro, Ebeye, Wotje and Jaluit. The survey includes the Life Skills Academy in Majuro.

To date, survey team, which includes College of Marshall Islands student interns, Public School System, Ministry of Health and Human Services and Kumit, have Jaluit High School and Northern High School in Wotje left to complete the project.

Once completed, findings would be available online and in printed hard copies to be disseminated to both public and private schools by September this year. A similar study is being conducted in the Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and Republic of Palau.

The project is part of the RMI non-communicable disease surveillance strategy to highlight early indicators in high school students.

Of the 17 high schools in RMI, there are six public high schools and 11 private high schools with a total of 3,561 students. Of the total number of students, 2,679 attend public schools while 882 are in private schools.

Overall, there are more female high school students 1,808, than their male counterparts, which totals at 1,753.


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